How to become a better developer?

Hey! My name is Sergey I started my journey as a web developer almost two years ago. Since then, anytime I meet a coder whom I admire, I always ask:
What should I do to become a better engineer?

And recently, I was asked the same question. So, I decided to share all the information I gathered from the answers I received and my own experience.

Create your own projects

I think the best way to learn something new or to ensure that you understand what you have learned is to create something.

If you don’t know where to start or if you think you’re lacking ideas, just try looking around and noticing what you are missing. Maybe you can create a tool that will help you achieve some goals, or you can practice your art skills and create something beautiful.

It can be whatever you want — something small just to try out new technology, or you can create something amazing that you and your friends (or maybe even other people) will happily use. Don’t be shy and work on it.

Here are a few projects that I have done recently in my free time:

And once I decided to create my own VSCode theme, which I still use every day.

Find a community

Maintaining motivation can sometimes be challenging, especially when it is low. In such cases, a community can be a great source of support.

I really enjoy connecting with other developers on Twitter. It's wonderful to discuss new frameworks, debate work/life balance, or just share memes.

You might try something similar—create a Twitter/X account, join some Discord servers, and subscribe to subreddits like /webdev, /react, and /cscareerquestions.

Be a T-shaped person

Many people think that being a developer means just coding all day long. But in real life, you always collaborate with others, discuss issues, and seek better approaches. And I think it is crucial to be a T-shaped person.

In other words, just learn what is going on around you.

I cannot emphasize enough how helpful it was that I studied art at school and how understanding design principles has helped me communicate with design teams. Also I have a background in marketing, so I can easily speak with marketers. The same goes for backend development. I barely understand how exactly everything works on the backend side, but having had a few lessons in Python, I can grasp what my teammates are working on.

Don’t limit yourself to your primary work skills. Try to learn new things to become a better and more valuable teammate whom everyone enjoys working with.

Never Stop Learning

If you are a developer, you know that your job now is to learn. Always. Since knowledge and skills become outdated pretty fast, you should keep an eye on everything that is happening in the industry.

New Tech Skills

I love Scrimba. I have finished a few courses, but I still maintain my subscription because they constantly release new lessons. For example, recently I took an AI Engineering path, which helped me a lot to understand how the OpenAI API works and how to use ChatGPT in my own projects.


Books are not the best medium in our constantly changing tech world, especially when a new framework appears every other day. However, there is fundamental knowledge. And for these purposes, books can play a crucial role.

Here are a few books which I have read, and I am sure I will read one (or maybe even more) again:

Oh, and you can check out any book on programming for kids. They usually explain the basics very well.


I like to listen to podcasts when I am commuting or going to the gym. Here are a few shows that help me to learn new things and stay on top of tech news:

Hope you'll like it!


Some people like them, some don't, but I am subscribed to a bunch of great newsletters, which I am happy to recommend:

So yeah, nowadays it is pretty easy to set up an environment and always be in the context of changes in the tech world.

Ask for help

It may sound funny, but asking for help is an essential and, at the same time, very difficult skill. Especially if you, like me, started your tech career not in your 20s, but later.

I remember how at first I struggled. But then I understood one great thing — people are actually really happy to help you. Most of them remember quite well that a few years ago, they were in your place. So, it is not a problem for the team mates to answer your questions (even if you think these questions are very stupid).

If you're still struggling, I recommend reading the wonderful book The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer. Or, if you don’t like reading, then watch her TED talk.

Amanda is really good at explaining how to ask for help and what it can bring to your life.

Don’t forget to have fun!

All of us came to tech with our own reasons. Some want to earn more money, others have been into computers all their lives, and some are just trying something new.

So, whatever your reason is, don’t forget to have fun. Yes, sometimes it can be very challenging—to find a job, to fix a bug, to discuss new projects, to communicate with product managers, to write clean code... But in the end, it's something that you have chosen, and I hope you like it. So, don’t forget to have fun!

All the examples are pretty frontend centered, since I am working as a frontend engineer. But you should easily get the idea and find resources for the skills you try to improve.

That’s it. Good luck in your journey!

Designed, written, photographed, and CSSed by Sergey Kaplich
2 May, 2024